An XL Bully owner joined thousands in London to protest against the government’s proposals to ban the dogs.
Michelle West, of Napier Road, Northfleet, joined the rally outside Westminster today with placards stating “Stop bullying our breed”.
The 38-year-old took to the streets just after midday as the demonstration marched from outside parliament through the streets ending up at Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square.
Videos from the event show thousands of XL Bully owners holding signs and chanting.
Michelle, who has a two-year-old XL Bully Ozzie, said: “It was a very good turnout. It was peaceful and there were a lot of people with their empty leads as a statement. There was a lot of families.
“There was a lot of support from the public who were joining in as we passed and drivers beeping.
“I think we got the point across. The majority of bullies are family dogs. In every group, you get a bad egg, but 99.9% of bullies are loved.
“It is the minority who are giving the majority a bad reputation. My point is banning the breed will not work, regulations are needed instead.”
The American XL bully dog breed will be banned by the end of the year after a spate of attacks, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed, calling the dog a “danger to our communities, particularly our children”.
It follows a series of recent attacks – including a man who was killed in Staffordshire earlier this month.
The day before demonstrators turned out a man was taken to hospital after being bitten by a suspected American XL bully dog in a south London park.
The victim, in 40s, was attacked in Pasley Park, Walworth, shortly after 6pm on Friday and was taken to hospital suffering injuries to his arm, the Metropolitan Police said.
Police say they are investigating and no arrests have been made.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he has tasked ministers with working with police and experts to define the breed “with a view to outlawing it”.
Ahead of the demo, Michelle told KentOnline: “People need to take responsibility for their dog. They are blaming the wrong end of the lead.
“It is about educating and regulating the people, not the breed. I would happily take an assessment and pay to have a licence if it means protecting the breed.”
The assistant accountant believes it is the owners who are to blame for so-called dangerous dogs and wants laws to require owners to need a licence to own any dog.
Since the impending ban an animal shelter has told Kent Online it has been inundated with requests to rehome XL Bully dogs, with some owners saying they’ll put their pets down if they can’t get help.
But Large Breed Dog Rescue, based in Greenhithe, urged people “not to panic” after receiving an influx in the number of calls following news the American XL Bully is set to be banned by the end of the year
It would be the first breed to be banned since the Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced in 1991.